As of the time I wrote this there are close to 1000 dead or missing people in the wake of Typhoon Washi, or as the Filipinos have named it: Typhoon Sendong. (Yes, the Philippines is in the habit of choosing their own name for typhoons despite what the rest of the world calls them and no, I do not know why.)

At any rate it wasn’t the storm that killed people but rather the flood waters and the landslides that followed that did the damage to life and property alike. The last I heard there were some parts of Mindanao that were under 18 feet of water.

WHAT PUZZLES ME

It’s always amazed me how destructive and powerful water is and when I heard this I shook my head because it seems like every Typhoon there are just certain parts of the country that get hammered. I live in Cavite about 3 miles from the coast and we only got a bit of hard rain for about a day but it was nothing major.

So here is what I don’t get. All throughout history when people were in danger where they lived or if the place they lived was unable to sustain them they would move on in search of a better place to live. So why do people nowadays live in dangerous places and stay there long after they know it’s dangerous? I mean Japan/California with the  earthquakes would be an excellent example. But here in the Philippines there are just certain places that everytime it rains hard there is a tragedy because the people stay living in a place they know will either flood or there will be mud slides. Then they blame the government or logging companies for deforestation.

WHAT I THINK SHOULD BE DONE

Cagayan de Oro can’t use that excuse because the city is situated at sea level. The city sits at the mouth of the Cagayan deo Oro river so when there is a Typhoon the river overflows its banks and floods the city. WELL, THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE PEOPLE! This is common sense. You don’t live in a flood zone and if you do you don’t stay there!

I am not stupid. I realize you can not just abandon a city so they should take steps to build some kind of a defense against flooding. If they built flood defenses and if they’re not adequate then they either have to build more or redirect the river or SOMETHING!

I know this is a poor country and all that but this is also a very poor country and a project like that would put a lot of people to work. I think it would be an excellent infrastructure project that would definite the local and national economy. Not to mention the fact that it would save lives.

OK, so the next argument would be where would the money come from? Well, let’s see. There is millions and millions of dollars that floods into the Philippines every year from the IMF and other world organizations. We know that money isn’t being used to improve education because the public schools in the Philippines are a joke at best.  We know the money isn’t being used for public hospitals because public hospitals in the Philippines are an even bigger joke. So there is obviously money floating around in this country somewhere and it’s not being used for the public good.

WHY AM I BEING NEGATIVE

Well, I am not being negative. I am being realistic. Also, I am not a spokesperson for the Philippines. I am not trying to convince anyone to move to the Philippines so I am not going to sugar coat things in an effort to make the Philippines sound like a wonderful place to live. Don’t get me wrong. I love living here….most of the time….but as with anywhere else there are drawbacks to living here. It’s not a paradise despite what the brochures say. But by that same token Hawaii is not the paradise people think it is either. Neither is Thailand, Bali, or anyplace else that has gorgeous beaches and stunning women.